Monday, January 28, 2008

Foundation Musings: Recession

When I read the news and scan the headlines I can't help but think that it feels as if we are "deciding", collectively, to go hand-in-hand, into recession. It really feels as if we are willing, by way of a self-defeating acceptance, to go down that path, to make that the coming script for the collective financial consciousness. I can smell defeated aquiesence in the phrasing. You know, that dull BO that comes more from nervousness than physical exhaustion. Gross. Knuckle-up kids. The only people that roll-over in life are the one's who enjoy getting fucked.

Flags of the World, Graded

Hmmm. This appears to be done in all seriousness. There is even a "methodology", but it seems a bit "loosey goosey" to me. When I saw the "Too Many Stars" comment on the US flag I was reminded of the scene in Amadeus when Emperor Joseph II says of one of Mozart's pieces: "Too many notes".

Explore for yourself The world's flags given letter grades

Sunday, January 27, 2008

On Typography: Pitching Political Change

What font says 'Change'? From The Boston Globe. (A Sherman Foundation "Thank You" goes out to CC Chapman for sending this along.)

The Hillary type palette is far from fresh and colorful; it is begging for legitimacy instead of demanding respect. It projects recycled establishment. The type has a tired feeling, as if the ink has been soaking into the page too long. The Hillary logo has the look of an '80s newspaper layout or an investment company. The tall lower-case reminds me of someone with their pants pulled up too high. I wonder about the significance of the three stars and three stripes. A third term?

Edwards is the only candidate to use a sans serif typeface for his main typeface. Sans serif typefaces do not have the added elements at the ends of the vertical and horizontal strokes. Unlike many of the traditional sans serifs used in campaigns, Edwards's typeface is open and friendly. It's utilitarian. In past campaigns, Edwards used a serif typeface. Perhaps he is subtly distancing himself from his unsuccessful 2004 bid. The Edwards type is very Wal-Mart, tabloid, middle class. Not a whiff of high-powered lawyer.

Obama's type is contemporary, fresh, very polished and professional. The serifs are sharp and pointed; clean pen strokes evoke a well-pressed Armani suit. The ever-present rising sun logo has the feeling of a hot new Internet company. His sans serifs conjure up the clean look of Nike or Sony. This typography is young and cool. Clearly not the old standards of years past.

Huckabee has the most inexplicable selection of typography and graphics, from the six floating stars to the white stripe seemingly stolen from the Coca-Cola logo. The overall effect is clutter. The main typeface, used to set the candidate's name, is very tightly spaced, or tightly tracked, as typographers like to say. Some letters, like kab, are actually touching each other. Then "Mike" is tucked in between the H and k as if "we almost forgot to tell you his first name." Setting FAITH. FAMILY. FREEDOM. in such a thin weak sans serif feels as if it was added as a committee compromise or an afterthought. The type is too light, too small, and does not have a real voice.

Uppercase can attract attention and project boldness, which is probably why the Romney campaign set his name in all caps. It works pretty well for 'Romney'. The letters fit comfortably and form a pretty solid unit.

Unfortunately, MITT does not lend itself well to this treatment. The two T's create a big space between them compared with the space between the MI or, to a lesser extent, the IT. The result is an irregular rhythm and feeling of inconsistency. The graphics are puzzling. The eagle logo has the head of the US Postal Service logo and body of the Norwegian flag flowing behind it. Not sure what that means.

Like Clinton, Giuliani has abandoned his last name nearly completely. Rudy is four easy-on-the-eyes letters set in a strong serif with an eye-catching red border. It is set in a strong, bold serif typeface; the serifs themselves are clear and decisive. Using his short four-letter name allows him to set it particularly large. His message is all about Rudy, name recognition. The enlarged R introduces the other letters like a big, protective parent.

McCain uses type that is a perfect compromise between a sans and a serif, what type geeks call a "flared sans." Not quite sans and not quite serif, sort of in between, moderate, not too far in either direction. The strokes have contrast between the thick and thin, creating the feeling that the ends are going to have cute little serifs, but they just flare out a little, not forming actual serifs but wanting to. The military star centered and shadowed is a not-so-subtle touch. And McCain just says "President," as if to say he's already been elected. Everything about this logo says you can buy a car from this man. From the perfectly centered star to the perfectly spaced type, the entire design looks like a high-end real estate company. McCain has done something no other candidate has done, he uses all blue, no red - not even a dash. If we were to predict the results based on typography and design, we would pick McCain and Obama.

Creepy Old Ads


See all 10 on the 2Spare site: 10 Creepiest Old Ads

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Man/Machine: Sex with Robots and The Singularuty

Love and Sex with Robots on the Colbert Report

The Singulary: The Convergence of Human and Computer Intelligence/Consciousness

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You: The Singularity

Raymond Kurzweil: The Singularity Summit at Stanford

Teddy Bears (Insideout)

By Kent Rogowski

See the entire colection here.

From the site:

Bears, is a series of portraits of the most unusual sort: ordinary teddy bears that have been turned inside out and restuffed. Each animal's appearance is determined by the necessities of the manufacturing process. Simple patterns and devices never meant to be seen are now prominent physical characteristics, giving each one a distinctly quirky personality: their fasteners become eyes, their seams become scars, and their stuffing creeps out in the most unexpected places. Together these images form a topology of strange yet oddly familiar creatures. They are at once hideous yet cuddly, disturbing yet endearing, absurd yet adorable, while offering a metaphor for us all to consider. These bears, which have lived and loved and lost as much as their owners, have suffered and endured through it all. It is by virtue of revealing their inner core might we better understand our own.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hitler: Bloodthirsty Dictator, Die-hard Cowboys Fan

I rolled my eyes when I saw the ttle, but this is really f'in funny.

The Sherman Foundation Salutes: Robbie Maddison

Holy sh*t balls!


This was hanging in the O'Briens Pub in the Pittsburgh International Airport. Snapped the pic of it Monday night. "Kelly" has a real Rasputin quality about her. (Interestingly, the really had to beat the piss out of Rasputin to kill him. I wonder if that's what the text implies. ;)

The murder of Rasputin has become legend, some of it invented by the very men who killed him, which is why it becomes difficult to discern exactly what happened. It is, however, generally agreed that, on December 16, 1916, having decided that Rasputin's influence over the Tsaritsa had made him a far-too-dangerous threat to the empire, a group of nobles, led by Prince Felix Yusupov and the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich (one of the few Romanov family members to escape the annihilation of the family during the Red Terror), apparently lured Rasputin to the Yusupovs' Moika Palace, where they served him cakes and red wine laced with a massive amount of cyanide. According to legend, Rasputin was unaffected, although Vasily Maklakov had supplied enough poison to kill five men. Conversely, Maria's account asserts that, if her father did eat or drink poison, it was not in the cakes or wine, because, after the attack by Guseva, he had hyperacidity, and avoided anything with sugar. In fact, she expressed doubt that he was poisoned at all.

Determined to finish the job, Yusupov became anxious about the possibility that Rasputin might live until the morning, which would leave the conspirators with no time to conceal his body. Yusupov ran upstairs to consult the others and then came back down to shoot Rasputin through the back with a revolver. Rasputin fell, and the company left the palace for a while. Yusupov, who had left without a coat, decided to return to grab one, and, while at the palace, he went to check up on the body. Suddenly, Rasputin opened his eyes, grabbed Yusupov by the throat and strangled him. As he made his bid for freedom, however, the other conspirators arrived and fired at him. After being hit three times in the back, Rasputin fell once more. As they neared his body, the party found that, remarkably, he was still alive, struggling to get up. They clubbed him into submission and, after wrapping his body in a sheet, threw him into an icy river, and he finally met his end there—as had both his siblings before him.

Powerthirst 2

It hurts my funnybone when I watch.

A man on mars?

From CNN

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Happy Anniversary to YESbutNObutYES

It's been 3 years since Scaramouch asked if I would be interested in starting a blog with him and we launched YESbutNObutYES. It's been a long time since I've been an active participant in YBN (my interests always felt a bit odd alongside the voice that developed) but I've watched with pride as the crew that Scaramouch assembled built it into the juggernaut it is today.

You can read Scaramouch's anniversary post here.

I designed the logo. The face that appears above the typography was a sketch that Scaramouch did while we were working on Vaseline Intensive Care at JWT. It was supposed to be a woman with bad skin. It became "Connie" (as in contradiction).

Billboard for Oral Sumo

If looking at a giant billboard of one sumo wrestler giving oral to another makes you a hungry it apears that there is a TGIF right up the street.

A big Sherman Foundation shout out to HOT PAWEL for sending this in.

The Pirate's Dilema

I've been talking for a long time about the fact that piracy is an indication of market inefficiencies. The music industry was so out of step with the world when people began fil-sharing with peer to peer software. The fact was that the disappearance of the single and being forced to overpay for entire cd's when most people only wanted a few tracks on the release was ridiculous in the digital age. The industry response was to sue kids. It took a computer guy, Steve Jobs to show them that they needed to "compete" with piracy, make it easier to buy than to steal.

A new book covers this subject in detail, The Pirate's Dilema by The Pirate's Dilemma: How Youth Culture Is Reinventing Capitalism by Matt Mason.

Another fascinating case study he talks about is the pharmaceutical industry. In India, where most people cannot afford to pay for western drugs, the government decided to ignore IP law and let people knock off drugs. There wasn't a value loss to large pharma companies because they're wasn't a viable market for their products there. However, the impact on life expectancy of this policy decision was dramatic.

I actualy came across Matt VIA my new favorite podcast THINK with Krys Boyd. (Krys, you fuckin rock!)You can listen to Krys's interview with Matt Mason HERE (iTunes link)

This is a SlideShare piece MAtt created to talk about some of his ideas.

Another piece, along a similar lines that I have listened to many many times is Larry Lessig for the TED conference. This is a MUST VIEW.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Is this pure genius or the end of advertising as we know it? A bit of both perhaps.

Via the Diggnation podcast.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Fun with Boobies!!!

VIA Adfreak.

The Sherman Foundation Salutes: The Decapitator

The Decapitator on Flickr. A big, loud "Ka Kaw Motherfucker!" to brother Mark for sending showing me where the bodies are.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Thirsty Monkies

Chinese "dog" gets called out on the rug

He got pwnd

HONG KONG -- The 2008 Beijing Olympics have become a public-relations vehicle for the Chinese government, corporate sponsors -- and now even a betrayed wife.

Since last Friday, hundreds of thousands of Chinese Internet users have watched an online video showing Hu Ziwei, wife of popular sportscaster Zhang Bin, hijacking an Olympics news conference to denounce her husband for infidelity. (Watch the video. Or see a translation of the video dialogue below).
[CCTV video]
Hu Ziwei, wife of sportscaster Zhang Bin (shown next to her in suit), who denounced her husband for infidelity.

"Just two hours ago I found out that Mr. Zhang Bin is having an illicit relationship with a woman other than me," said Ms. Hu, after interrupting him on stage during the launch of China Central Television's Olympics coverage.

Read the entire article: CCTV gets wrong kind of PR

The people in the video are all speaking in chinese, but the non-verbals are fun to watch.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Chris Jordan

Roland just turned me on to the photography of Chris Jordan. I'm blown away. Spectacular stuff!

I couldn't resist, I had to post a bunch of these.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Words and Crocodiles

I have a crocodile fetish. I also have a beautiful red crocodile belt that Kobe56 refers to as my "man-whore" belt. Wow. Just now, Kathryn texted me: "got a smile, crocodile". (It was in response to the "what's the word, thunderbird" I had sent her earlier.

I have a strange spiritual affinity to crocodiles. In fact the working title of my memoirs is: Tears of a Crocodile Clown.

This is my favorite scene for the movie The Krays.

In other crocodile related news:

Dentists win Lacoste crocodile logo battle


I was at a dinner part a few nights ago and we realized that BR has a superpower that he has unknowingly possessed for, well, maybe his whole life. He can disable electronic devices. Not manually, just by being in the room. He apparently inherited it, his mother could never get vending machines to work.

It's a good thing that one of his closest friend's superpower is just the opposite. His presence ensures the proper working of electronic devices.

My favorite superpower was J's. When I asked him what his superpower was he said: "I know what people are going to wear next".

If I had a superpower it would be the ability to make people orgasm or crap their pants on command. I think that would get me just about everything I want in life.

On IM just now I asked TR what her superpower is. She said "I i wish for something and three months later i get it". I told her to get me a motorcycle... and some love.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Contextual Positioning?

I was reading Wired News and saw the following article: Researchers Work on Cocaine Vaccine. What caught my eye was the AP ad for a video segment on Jack Nicholson. Was this Contextually positioned to go along with the article.

That AP ad actually rotated 2 features. The second was about legislation issues surround crack cocaine prosecution.

I posted the pic below last summer in the post: In this week's US Weekly. Look at the tell-tale white ring around Jack's nostril.

Paranormal Billboard has passerbys hearing voices in their heads

This has got to be the coolest uoutdoor ad concept i've seen in a very long time.

Billboard Whispers into Pedestrians’ Ears for A&E’s ‘Paranormal State’
An ad for A&E ghost-themed series Paranormal State uses technology to transmit an “audio spotlight” from a rooftop speaker in New York’s SoHo directly to the ears of passersby.

Pedestrians on Prince Street might hear a voice asking, directly in their ears, “Who’s there? Who’s there?” a few seconds later, the voice says, “It’s not your imagination,” writes AdAge

The technology, created for museums and libraries and other environments that require quiet, is manufactured by Holosonics, which provides sound in a narrow beam, just like light.


A tablet interface modified Mac laptop. BADASS.

From the ModBook website:

Designed in California by Axiotron’s team of German and American engineers, the ModBook™ is at its core an after-market hardware modification to standard off-the-shelf Apple® MacBook™ systems, converting them into high-end slate-style tablet computers. With its condensed form factor and integrated pen-based user experience the Axiotron ModBook is the ultimate companion for applications and situations where a keyboard only gets in the way.

Built for mobile users, artists, students and professionals, the ModBook enables its user to draw and write directly on the screen, while the handwriting recognition built into Mac OS® X Tiger not only turns hand scribbles into text in every application, but also provides extended control of the system through gesture recognition. The ModBook comes standard with a built-in iSight™ camera and an integrated CD/DVD combo drive that can be upgraded to a 8.5 GB DVD burner, and it is the only portable Mac solution that also features an optional built-in Global Positioning System (GPS).

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Staged Photos by Wacky Russians

These are photos of one Russian online community members of which enjoy making some staged photos with creepy plots.

Here is an example of a description provided to the members of this group for creating their images:
“A Cheating Wife: You need to make a photo of a man, “a lover”, hanging outside the real window. The window should be not lower than a 3rd store of a multi-stored building. “A husband” should lean out from another window with a gun, aiming at “the lover”. From yet another window “the cheating wife” should look out in despair.”

Here are the images:

VIA the latest Diggnation Podcast.

Subliminal Advertising

A couple of Brit ad guys get punk'd in this little subliminal head game.

Visual Language: New Math

I was at a diner party this eveninf and picked up the book pictured below. I really dig the playful pitting of concepts against one another using basic mathematic symbols.

The author of New Math it turns out works with some friends at a NY ad agency.

I'm reminded a bit of the conceptual art of the 60's (in my view one of the most overlooked parts of 20th centuary art along with the body art of people like Burden and Acconci).

I am also reminded of the Concrete Poetry. Below, "Silence" by Eugen Gomringer.

Larry Lessig on Read/Write Culture

Yet another extraordinary video from the TED Conference. Lessig talks about "read/write culture" a description he applies to our current user generated/web 2.0 culture as one in which people participate in the creation and recreation of culture. (Brian Eno is fond of pointing out the historic recency of record music as a stable, fixed and repeated experience. One that he believes future generations will look back at with a sense of bewilderment.)

He presents a few historic anecdotes (on trespass & copyright law) and frames the current music industry's and legal sector's framing as shortsighted, lacking common sense and missing the bigger picture.

Larry Lessig from the Authors@Google Series.

Lawrence Lessig is a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and founder of the school's Center for Internet and Society.

Larry Lessig's Blog

Rednecks build mechanical spider

A testament to American ingenuity. Badass.

VIA the latest Diggnation podcast.

Dangerous Ideas: Political Violence

Maybe this is the way you should respond when your government is corrupt and your elections are stolen. Incessant complaining on the part of American Liberals has proven to be inaffective at best as a means of affecting change in government.

Even internation observers disputed the tally of the vote. When protesters started to shout "STOP" at the polls the guns were turned on the voters. Wow. From NPR: Protesters Dispute Kibaki Victory in Kenya Election

Images VIA The BBC.

For alternative methods of protest (non-violent) I highly recommend: Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky.

See my post: On Creative, Political and Personal Process: Losing It

Guitar Hero III Review

This is hilarious.